Book 1 of the Mistborn series asks what happens when the dark lord wins. Book 2 asks what happens when he is defeated. The Well of Ascension is not an easy book to review without giving a lot of spoilers. I gave some of my more spoilery thoughts in a post comparing it to The Last Jedi. You can find that post here. I will keep this post short and spoiler-free.
Bottom line: The Well of Ascension suffers a bit from middle-book-syndrome, but the trilogy is none the less for it, and The Well of Ascension is ambitious, if nothing else.
Sanderson shows his now well known skill at worldbuilding by continuing to expand the world of Mistborn (and the Cosmere). We see the koloss we only heard about in the first book. We learn much more about the kandra.
Vin and Elend don’t just have koloss and kandra to worry about. Vin faces off against another mistborn, and there are two armies on the doorstep. Inside Luthadel, Elend learns that running an empire is harder than winning it.
Where Sanderson really shines, though, is in how he plays with prophecy. But that is spoiler territory.
4 of 5 Stars.